Edward’s sports law practice, as well as encompassing personal injury litigation, involves all aspects of regulatory work and advising governing bodies on a variety of matters including such matters as doping and concussion.
He has represented and advised both individual sportsmen and women as well as governing/regulatory bodies. In doing so Edward has:
- Advised on the duty and standard of care in light of emerging medical knowledge, in particular with regard to concussion;
- Appeared before various sporting governing bodies, including the British Boxing Board of Control, RFL, UKA and the British Weight Lifting Association;
- Chaired Doping Disciplinary Tribunals, sitting in judgment on individual cases of contested positive doping offences;
- Undertaken disciplinary investigations on behalf of sporting governing bodies, including England Athletics;
- Advised on issues of eligibility criteria for athletes;
- Acted more generally in a number of personal injury claims for footballers and rugby players following negligent tackles on the field of play.
Furthermore, with his extensive work in the field of occupational and industrial disease litigation, he is well placed to address emerging issues in sports injury where they may touch on repetitive impacts/strains/concussions whether from a neurological, epidemiological or othopaedic perspective.
In one High Court action, Edward acted for a Rugby League Club in a claim brought by a high profile player where he claimed between £1 million and £2million. The player claimed to have sustained a series of increasingly severe back injuries, brought about by continuing to play rugby. In what was a particularly difficult case with with complex issues of medical causation and exaggeration/chronic pain, Edward, in conjunction with his instructing solicitor and through extensive disclosure applications and repeated reviews of the evidence managed to secure a discontinuance of the sportsman’s claim.
Edward has competed across a number of sports, in particular athletics where he ran to a high standard attaining quadruple blue status whilst at Oxford. He remains active in the administration of amateur athletics in the UK, being the Legal Officer to the National Athletics League.
Recently concluded/ongoing cases and instructions include: conducting disciplinary review for England Athletics into actions of a Regional Council and its members, advising a national governing body on head injury/concussion, acting for the Defendant in a negligent football tackle claim in an EL setting, advising a Claimant in negligent rugby tackle claim arising out of a club game requiring additional consideration of challenge to RFU disciplinary hearing findings and appeal and acting for a Claimant in a negligence claim arising out of Ju Jitsu training accident.
Chaney -v- Thomas Ayling School (settlement confidential).
Acting for Claimant, youth player injured in football tackle. Duty of care – the Defendant did not require players to wear shin pads in matches or training, when played on artificial pitch. Claimant successfully argued that the shin pads were a requirement and the Defendant breached its duty of care to the Claimant. Reliance was placed on the rules of game – both at national (FA) and international (FIFA) level – as well as expert evidence addressing appropriate risk assessments. Favourable settlement reached in 2015.
Knott –v- Sporting Club Leigh t/a Leigh Centurions Rugby League Club (High Court, discontinued)
Acting for rugby league club in high profile player’s claim for damages – claimed at between £1 million and £2 million – arising out alleged serious back injury brought about by continuing to play rugby after initial injury sustained. Very complex and novel sports injury claim. Claimant as a player was an employee of the club and sought to apply the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 to playing rugby. A series of back problems resulted in multiple operations and treatment. Difficult and complicated disclosure exercise together with complex issues of medical causation and exaggeration/chronic pain. Led by Michael Spencer QC. Matters concluded successfully for the Defendant with discontinuance of claim.
Smith -v- East Riding FA (settlement confidential).
Acting for Claimant in local area football league match under the umbrella of FA. Introduced to the action to advise on correct Defendant(s) to pursue in light of the status of the Defendant player’s club and the legal position of the local FA when matches were played under their amateur league structure. Successfully amended claim and thereafter pursued to successful and favourable settlement in 2012.
British Weightlifting Association v Burrowes, Cooper, Grant and Travis 9/10 August 2007, reported
Sat as Chairman on BWLA Doping Disciplinary Tribunal on 4 doping cases where individual athletes had tested positive – 3 for testosterone and 1 for human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG). The main issue for consideration was whether there was evidence of microbial deterioration and consideration of the appropriate way in which to evaluate the test results. All 4 athletes were found guilty and banned for 2 years under the WADA Code and BWLA rules. Judgments in testosterone and HCG cases available on UK Sport website.
Lomax v Wright (2007/2008 settlement confidential)
High value personal injury claim by professional golfer following road traffic accident. The Claimant was young professional golfer progressing through the various UK and minor European Tours with a view to gaining his full European Tour Card in the future. As a result of a road traffic accident, the Claimant was unable to play competitively and train for approximately 2 years. Complex issues as to the appropriate approach to valuing the Claimant’s loss of earnings (past and future) arose. Favourable settlement reached in early 2008.
British Weight Lifting Association -v- Kheela (2003) Reported.
Successfully prosecuted weightlifter, on behalf of BWLA at internal disciplinary tribunal. The lifter contested a positive doping offence for the anabolic steriod, stanozolol, following the British Weightlifting Championships 2002. Case involved expert evidence from Professor Cowan, Director of the Drugs Control Centre, Kings College, London. 2 year ban imposed.
British Weight Lifting Association -v- Hamill (2003) Reported.
Advised BWLA in relation to the prosecution of a coach under the BWLA Disciplinary Code on a charge of bringing the sport into disrepute: knowingly allowing an athlete, serving a two year ban for a doping offence, to compete in weightlifting competitions, run under the auspices of BWLA. Banned from holding office for two years.View full profile »
- BA Jurisprudence (Oxon)
- PGD in Sport & Law
Personal injury cases—attempting to outflank a limitation defence by discounting periods of time in which a defendant company was in liquidation (Holmes v S & B Concrete). See here.